Frequently Asked Questions

Direct Primary Care

What is direct primary care?


Direct primary care (DPC) is an innovative alternative payment model that improves access to high-functioning health care with a simple, flat, affordable membership fee. No fee-for-service payments. No third-party billing. The defining element of DPC is an enduring and trusting relationship between a patient and his or her primary care physician. Patients have extraordinary access to a physician of their choice who is held accountable to them, not to an insurance company. DPC is embraced by health policymakers on the left and right and creates happy patients and happy doctors all over the country!




Why do you charge a monthly fee?


Charging a monthly fee allows us to be creative with our care and attentive to our patients. By removing the insurance companies as payer, we don't need to worry about prior authorizations or whether our treatment will be approved. Primary care is extremely valuable, but it doesn't need to be expensive. This model allows us to keep a minimalist office and prevents you from being bounced among multiple people before you can actually speak with your physician. We don't need to rush you through your visit in order to see more people, because that's now how we operate. All patients get the time they need. We work for you. The monthly fee also helps patients to budget for their healthcare needs without concern for co-pays or hidden costs.




Do I need insurance to be seen at Fulcrum Family Health?


Direct primary care is not insurance, and we encourage all members to carry a catastrophic insurance plan to cover any costs of unexpected critical illnesses or accidents requiring hospital care. Our membership covers outpatient visits, access to the physician and specific services. If you need to be admitted to the hospital, we may visit you to help coordinate care, but our membership will not cover the cost of your stay or the care from the inpatient team. Being a member keeps down out-of-pocket costs (such as charges applied before you meet your deductible). This allows you to purchase less expensive insurance, while enjoying superior, direct and personalized care from a primary care physician. We offer deeply discounted lab testing and medications at wholesale cost, but you may also use your insurance for these services if you would like. We don't bill insurance for our services, so we are not bound by industry rules or restrictions. Dr. Lucas will see any patient who is interested in receiving personalized medical care, including uninsured patients and those with preexisting conditions.




Do I need to sign a contract?


We do not require members to sign any contracts that commit them to a certain period of membership. Memberships do not have an end date. A minimum of the first month of membership and a registration fee are paid up front and are nonrefundable. If you decide to cancel and have a balance of prepaid membership fees remaining, a prorated refund will be given to you based upon the date of cancellation. We would love the opportunity to take care of you and your family for many years to come, but if you change your mind, you are welcome to cancel at any time. Please note, we do charge a reenrollment fee of $150 if you should choose to return to Fulcrum Family Health after a cancellation of membership.




Why would I pay extra money if I have insurance?


Direct primary care is an alternative and better model for primary care. We don't believe it makes sense to pay for insurance for primary care. Physicians who practice primary care in an insurance-based model are forced to see many patients at shorter intervals to cover a multitude of costs (not the least of which are staff, time and material, in effort to comply with health insurance payment criteria) . If your insurance covers primary care, you are paying for an expensive benefit that is often difficult, if not impossible, to enjoy. Direct primary care is comprehensive, highly effective and less expensive than the current insurance-based primary care model. And with access to cash-based prices for labs/imaging and wholesale medication, patients can save hundreds of dollars per month. DPC is best paired with a catastrophic insurance plan for unexpected events.




I'm uninsured. Can Fulcrum Family Health help me figure out how to get insurance coverage?


If you are interested in pairing DPC with catastrophic coverage, we are here to help you. We can advise you on affordable, high-deductible plans or health care sharing ministries. Traditionally, these health sharing ministries based in the Christian faith (Liberty HealthShare, Medi-Share, Samaritan Ministries) but some secular organizations (Sedera) are emerging. Stop in to speak with Dr. Lucas about your coverage options and capabilities.




Can I use my HSA to pay for the DPC monthly fee?


The best answer is to consult your tax professional. Believe it or not, our government is still trying to decide if DPC service is a qualifed medical expense. When applicable law allows patients to use their HSA funds, we'll be the first ones to shout it from the rooftops! But for now, you can use your HSA for medications, imaging tests, labs, etc.




How is this different from concierge medicine?


DPC is similar to concierge medicine, but without the high price tag. Concierge practices charge patients a monthly fee in addition to charging insurance. Therefore, they still must work within the insurance model, which may limit or change therapies depending on insurance approval. Concierge practices improve access to the physician but don't achieve the goal of decreasing the cost. We strive to deliver this superior service to patients with or without insurance and at any income level.





Labs & Medication

What medications do you offer in the office?


We stock generic medications in our on-site pharmacy. We buy at wholesale cost and pass on the savings to our patients. If you need (or want) a name-brand medication, we can either order it or send the prescription to the pharmacy of your preference. We do not dispense any DEA controlled substances in our office.




What are your lab prices?


We are working hard to secure you the lowest prices. Details coming soon!





Medical Weight Loss

What are the details of your medical weight loss program?


Coming soon! Dr. Lucas has extra training in obesity medicine. Obesity is an important risk factor for type 2 diabetes and heart disease, as well as dysfunction in the pulmonary, musculoskeletal and nervous systems. This program is designed to prevent or reverse type 2 diabetes and other obesity-related ailments (e.g. polycystic ovarian syndrome, high blood pressure) through the use of advanced nutrition, metabolic testing and medications. Our goal is to optimize your cardiometabolic health and help you to take less (or no) medication and improve your quality of life. In the process, you will lose weight and be more active. It is possible! (We are willing to work with type 1 diabetic patients, with an expectation that they will still need insulin, as the physiology is different than type 2 diabetes).




Is this free for DPC members?


This program requires a significant investment of time and dedication from our physician. Therefore, a separate cost is associated with personalized weight loss care at Fulcrum Family Health. BUT, we offer a reduced rate for DPC members and free maintenance visits after program completion. We want you to succeed and stay on as a member of our health community!




Why should I come to my doctor for weight loss?


There are plenty of companies offering weight loss and nutrition services. You might be able to do it yourself, but we've done the research and know what will and will not work for whom and why. We believe obesity counseling should be with a physician, to make sure you are safe to change your diet or consider changes in therapy. If you are on medication, you should not attempt to taper it on your own. That's our job. We are here to guide you to a happier, healthier you with a safe, medical-evidence-based process that is tailored to your specific healthcare circumstances and personal goals.




What is entailed in the weight loss program?


Dr. Lucas is an enthusiastic proponent of using technology to lessen the burden of documentation and facilitate the conversation between physician and patient. Patient-specific, medically supervised weight management with minimal lifestyle disruption is at the heart of achieving lasting weight loss success. To that end, we are working on deals for Bluetooth-enabled wearable devices and monitors that communicate with our electronic medical record (EMR) system. This allows our physician to monitor your progress remotely, with minimal impact on your activities of daily living. Maintenance encounters via telemedicine remove the hassle, cost and time constraints of in-office visits. At Fulcrum Family Health, we provide personalized weight management that respects your life, your needs and your schedule.





Miscellaneous

Is my medical and financial information secure on your website?


Our website was created and is hosted by Wix. All websites developed on the Wix platform utilizes a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) protocol. HTTPS is the secure protocol through which your browser communicates with sites. When using HTTP sites, any data that is transferred can potentially be accessed or manipulated by attackers. However, when using HTTPS sites, data is encrypted and authenticated and therefore secured. We would never want to put our patients' sensitive data at risk and so both our practice website and our electronic medical record run on HTTPS and have a secure sockets layer (SSL) certificates. This certificate secures the connection between your browser and the site you’re visiting. Therefore, you should feel comfortable inputing medical and financial information when you sign up for our practice. Some browsers allow you to check this by clicking on a lock icon that is before the website domain.





Fulcrum Family Health​
 
Whole family health care, combining modern technology with old-fashioned service
 
Contact Us
42 Mallett Drive, Suite 3
Freeport, ME 04032
hello@fulcrumfamilyhealth.com
(207) 869-5815
(207) 835-4091 (fax)
 
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